I have finally decided the type of amp I'd like. Either an integrated amp or regular old-style 2-channel stereo receiver. I've found lots of reviews on this Onkyo and they are about 90% positive especially about the amplifier section. I can pick a new one up on Amazon for $149 w/free shipping and can't seem to find one to meet or beat it unless someone knows of an older amp or receiver that would have a comparable amplifier section for less. if you do, please tell me.
I don't care where a unit was/is made and even how old it is. I see some older receivers on my local Craigslist but they are nearly all 5 to 7 channel A/V models for which 3 to 5 channels I have no use for. I know some amps/receivers have Pure Direct type functions and wonder how much difference those types of features actually make. I've gone the gamut from Class T amps to ones like this one and amps like the ones from Onkyo that are 2 channel stereo offer me 1/4" headphone jacks which match my Sennheiser headphones, supposedly as clean as you can get at this price amps, and affordability.
I'm crazily limited in budget (shouldn't even be spending anything) but knowing how much better an outboard system can sound over my MacBook Pro's builtin Dac and speakers, I can't just stay with what the Mac can do. The plan is to buy an amp/receiver and 2 speakers now, and in few months hopefully an Async USB Dac like the HRT Musicstreamer II.
Any suggestions of something better new or used around $150 USD?